Tag Archives: banding together

Listen to a Live Recording from Banding Together

After a battle with traffic on the NJ Turnpike extension, I was able to make it to Lazlo’s Banding Together live acoustic music marathon at Espresso Joe’s in Keyport, NJ. If you haven’t done so already, please download the compilation record to donate to the Spondylitis Association of America.

For those of you who missed the performance, you can now listen to a live recording below. If the embed doesn’t appear below, click here to listen directly on Soundcloud.

 

Here is a nice photo captured by Lola.

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And here is the setlist.

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Banding Together 2016 Available Today

I have a brand new recording to share with you today! It’s a newly-recorded version of my song “Walking On,” featuring Ty Tuschen on electric guitar. It’s part of Banding Together 2016, a compilation album to benefit the Spondylitis Association Of America. All proceeds will go to fund research and provide programs and services for people suffering from Spondylitis, a genetic rheumatoid arthritic condition that causes inflammation and fusion in the vertebrae of the spine, affecting more than 2.7 million adults in the United States.

This compilation album features 32 tracks of original music from local musicians and was curated by Lazlo at BlowUpRadio.com. Download the compilation album to support the cause today!

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Download the compilation album >>

Thank you so much for supporting this cause!

Recording Process for Banding Together 2015

Last year, I wrote about the recording process for Banding Together 2014 and how it evolved from 2012-2014. In 2015, the process took another step forward. Here’s how.

In 2012, I put a stereo field mic on my dining room table, sat in a chair, and let it happen. In 2013, I learned a bit about mic placement and I stood up to get some more energy on the recording. In 2014, I abandoned the stereo field mic approach and instead used two mics. This gave me better control over the balance between the voice and guitar.

As I set up to record Banding Together 2015, I started with the same approach as 2014. And then at the last minute, just before hitting record, out of the corner of my eye, I saw that same stereo field mic I had used in 2012 and 2013. I had a thought!

Though I liked the sound of the 2014 recording, everything sounded “up close.” As the listener, I didn’t get the sense I was in the room. There was no ambience, no space, no room sound. So at the last minute, I grabbed the stereo mic, placed it on the other side of the room, and hit record. I didn’t expect to use it in the final recording at all, but I thought it would be a nice experiment. I had changed my approach each year since 2012. It just didn’t feel right to take the same exact approach.

Well… what was just an experiment turned into a revelation.

I was shock when, after having finished recording my performance, I dropped the stereo field mic’s audio into the mix. It made it sound so much bigger! There was a bit of space between the source of the sound and the mic. The room acted as a natural mixing board, blending the sounds of my acoustic guitar and my voice in a natural way. Combining this sound source with the close up sources made the overall recording sound fatter and larger. It sounded like you were there in the room with me. Which was exactly what I was going for!

Having that room sound alongside the closer mics on my voice and guitar really gave me the best of both worlds. I had the detail and presence I needed from the close ups and I also had the room and a sense of space from the room mic.

And of course, after all this, I made a connection I probably should’ve made from the beginning.

It’s a lot like recording drums! The close up mics are for the detail, but the drums don’t sound complete until you hear what they sound like in the room. The room is essential!

Just like anything you are trying to capture acoustically, the room can make all the difference.

P.S. If you’re interested in listening to the final recording, it’s available on iTunes, Spotify, and everywhere else. Check it out here.

Recording It Live

My latest album – Banding Together 2015 – is a live album. Not live in the sense that it was recorded at a show or even in front of a live audience (other than my cats). It’s live in the sense that the performance is live. I played my guitar and sang each song from the beginning to the end. And that’s what you hear on the album.

But why do it live? Why not record to a click track and multi-track the guitar and vocal separately? Recording software makes it easy. Plus, it produces a nice “studio sound.”

In this particular case, live was a requirement. The Banding Together webathon had to be performed live because that was the nature of the event. But even if that requirement wasn’t there, would I have done it differently? Would I have multi-tracked?

I don’t think so. Not that I wouldn’t ever record that way, but there’s something special to me about being able to hear a singer/songwriter perform songs in the most intimate setting. I don’t believe you can truly capture that sound unless it’s recorded as a live performance.

When the performance is recorded live – even if it’s captured in a studio – it feels like you’re in the room with the musician. That’s what the early Bob Dylan records – like The Freewheeling Bob Dylan – make me feel. That’s what Damien Rice’s first record makes me feel. It’s the best part about stripped-down, live-performance recordings. They allow us to hear the music as written.

It’s the reason MTV’s Unplugged was so popular, right? We’re able to hear if the song stands on its own. We can focus on the melody, lyrics, chord changes, and intent of the songwriter. We’re not distracted by studio effects or instrumentation.

We want to feel the natural ebb and flow of the music as expressed through the dynamics of the performer. It’s not often we hear true dynamics in today’s recordings. The effect of dynamics is often achieved by adding or subtracting instruments, but rarely does the overall loudness change.

Yet if you’re listening to one person play in front of you live, the player’s dynamics come through so clearly. This is something I wanted to capture in Banding Together 2015. I want you to feel like I sat down on your couch and sang you my songs with all my heart.

I hope that feeling comes through when you listen to it.

Where to Listen to My Latest Record

Thanks to everyone who downloaded and listened to my latest solo acoustic album, Banding Together 2015.

In addition to being available for pay-what-you-want download on Bandcamp, it is also now available basically everywhere you can listen to or download music! I’ve listed some of the most popular ones below as hyperlinks. Enjoy!

Still Time to Donate

Some good news. Some bad news.

The good news is that the listenership for Banding Together is up this year! The bad news is that donations are down.

Don’t worry. The webathon is re-airing through Friday evening, so there is still time to make your donation to the Spondylitis Association of America. Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of progressive arthritis due to chronic inflammation of the joints in the spine. It can be very painful to those who are affected by it.

Please consider donating today!

P.S. If you missed the first airing of my set, you can listen to it again on Friday, October 23rd at 11am!

Banding Together Donation Link and Compilation Album

Banding Together begins tomorrow – Friday, Oct 16th at 11am and runs through Monday evening at blowupradio.com.

But you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to make a donation to the Spondylitis Association of America and receive this year’s special compilation album download!

Make your donation here.

Here’s the track list of the compilation album you’ll receive:

1. Josh Bicknell – a new start [live at Espresso Joe’s]
2. Jersey Drive – if minds could kill [single version]
3. The Deafening Colors – jerry ryan
4. The Extras, Inc. – some people in this world
5. Lifeguard Nights – bible girl [rough mix]
6. d.smith – alcohol [live]
7. Shotgun Bill and the Red Hot Pistols – one too many
8. David Van Orden Jr. – stories of a man with my name
9. HAL – dichotomy
10. The Clydes – the lie escape
11. Jonathan Andrew – silver screen [live]
12. Diego Allessandro & Lot 25 – restless heart
13. Keith Beck’s Zigman Bird – dry tears
14. Fun While You Wait – lost [live]
15. Christian Beach – paper ships [live]
16. Son Of Dov – breathing fire [live]
17. Fairmont – bad time
18. Suspecting Victim – wolves in sheep clothing
19. Colie Brice – delicate flower (out loud)
20. Weird and Wonderful Words – canoodle
21. Catherine Wacha – the ballad of marion crane
22. Deena – been so crazy lately
23. Faust Fulton And Friends – something real [live]
24. LHCisco – mr. gloom [chill version]
25. A Halo Called Fred – I haz a sad
26. The Blurry Minds – I just want to be gold
27. Little Big Toe – build a boat
28. The Wag – I’ll be all right (F#m7)
29. Naked Ant – the scene
30. Don Lee – brand new star
31. Hat & Boots – I could be
32. 1L – the 1L show
33. Melissa Anthony – 4/14
34. Just Waiting – useless
35. The Accelerators – beat generation
36. Frank & Bill – purple corvette
37. Joe Canzano – ride thru wyoming
38. The Wailing Kids – de la pueblo
39. The Way Out – deep end
40. Bruce Tunkel – friday’s here [live]
41. Mike Clifford – on a friday night

So don’t wait! Make your donation today.

Banding Together 2015

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be performing as part of Banding Together, a webathon to benefit the Spondylitis Association of America. October 16-19th.

This year marks my fourth year of playing this webathon as a solo acoustic artist.

Lazlo is the man behind this benefit. He is someone who works tirelessly in service of independent artists. His internet radio station Blowupradio is one of the longest-running stations on the web. Long before you could stream Pandora on your iPhone, long before iPhones even existed, you could stream his radio station over the Internet.

This benefit is a personal one for him, as his wife suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis. In his spirit of giving, Lazlo will be giving a ton of his time and all donations to the Spondylitis Association of America.

How do you donate?
Throughout the webathon there will be a link on blowupradio.com to donate to the SAA.

What do you get for donating?
Besides the release of positive endorphins from donating to a worthy cause? Everyone who donates will receive a compilation album to download. It includes special tracks from artists performing during the webathon. I’m adding a live performance of my song “A New Start” to this compilation. It will not be available anywhere else. The recording was captured this past year at Espresso Joe’s coffee house during one of Lazlo’s Guitar Pull events.

How do you learn more?
The official press release and schedule of performances is here: http://blowupradio.tripod.com/newsletters/2015/spondypr.html

What else do you need to know?
More posts about this will be forthcoming. In the meantime, feel free to stream and download my performances from the three previous years.

My New Record Is Available Today

Today, I’m releasing a new record into the world! It’s a recording of my recent performance on Banding Together: A Webathon to Benefit the Spondylitis Association of America.

Banding Together 2014 Album Cover

 

About the Record

Things you won’t find on the record:

  • auto-tune
  • overdubs
  • editing
  • studio tricks

Things you will find on the record:

  • my voice
  • acoustic guitar
  • original songs recorded in their purest, simplest form

The recording features a half hour of original music, recorded in a way that captures the live performance with high fidelity. I worked with Missile Silo Studios to mix and master it professionally, so it sounds good coming out of your sound docks, speakers, and earbuds. (Read more about the recording process here.)

How to Get the Record

The record is available as a digital download.

Pay what you want for it. You can even grab it for free. I’m proud of the way it came out and I just want you to have it!

After you download it to your computer, you can easily add it to iTunes, Spotify, or any other music player. Just drag the files into your player.

Get the new record today ➝

I hope you enjoy it!

 

Named #5 Top Live Album of 2013

I was pleasantly surprised and quite honored to see this tweet from Lazlo of Blow Up Radio last night.

Banding Together 2013 cover

My live album Banding Together 2013, was named #5 in Lazlo’s list of Top 10 Live Albums of 2013! I am so honored to be among a diverse list that also includes Dream Theater, Guster, and the Counting Crows. Wow.

Here’s the complete Top 10:

10. Dream Theater – live at Luna Park
9. Guster – live with the redacted symphony
8. Dispatch – ain’t no trip to Cleveland vol. 1
7. Bruce Tunkel – bootleg series vol. 2
6. The Porchistas – live
5. Josh Bicknell – Banding Together 2013
4. The Howlin’ Brothers – the sun studio session
3. Midge Ure – live in Chicago 2013
2. Skinny Lister – Skinny Lister Folkadelphia Suitcase Session 4/24/2013
1. Counting Crows – Echoes Of The Outlaw Roadshow

And remember, you can pay what you want for Banding Together 2013 right here.